Monday, March 27, 2017

Music Monday: Chris Warner


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share one or two songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

This week I'm sharing three of my favorite songs featured in The Stelling Banjo Anthology, released in 2005, all three of which are instrumental numbers performed by Chris Warner.  In my opinion, Warner is one of the most underrated banjo pickers.  He's worked with everyone from Jimmy Martin, Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, Red Allen, and Audie Blaylock to many others.  Every now and then I'll hear his music featured on the Bluegrass Ramble weekend radio show I like listening to and it just makes me happy.  I can't get enough of his hard-driving style.








Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Funday: Weekend Update, Book Haul, & Beauty and the Beast (2017)


Happy Sunday everyone!  It's been quite a couple of weeks!  My car has finally been repaired and it looks good as new.  I got to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie in 3D on Tuesday in a newly remodeled movie theater with big comfy chairs - keep reading for my review!  I also had the opportunity to attend the Ohio Library Council's Central Chapter Meeting for professional continuing education programming.  It was great to see libraryland friends and I came away with a lot of interesting ideas to put into use.  Plus, I was able to pick up an ARC of Slade House by David Mitchell for our library.  In other library news, my library has applied for the NASA @ My Library grant which would be an absolutely amazing opportunity for our community if we are one of the 75 libraries selected to receive the grant, so fingers crossed!


This Friday and Saturday, the weather has been pretty outstanding (if a bit breezy) which is a nice change of pace.  Finn really enjoyed his time outside on Friday evening - he looks pretty relaxed there in the field, doesn't he!  Of course, he wanted to explore everything and we were outside for nearly two hours.


This Saturday I went to the Scott Antique Market which is a huge antique show for it's last show in Columbus for the season.  I had a few things I was looking for, but I ended up coming home with three books, including Unwind by Neal Shusterman (an ex-library Playaway), Worthy Brown's Daughter by Phillip Margolin (the vendor totally talked me into this one!), Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (I haven't read it's companion, but this sounds very cool).


❋ ❋ ❋ ❋ 

I've been ready to see this movie since I heard that it was being made, honestly.  It's one of my favorite Disney movies, so I fully expected to enjoy it especially as more news of casting came through.  I mean, Emma Watson as Belle - I couldn't imagine a better choice for the character.  After having watched the movie, I can definitely say that I loved this quite a bit more than I expect to and when I walked out of the theater, my cheeks kind of ached from smiling so much. It's a faithful to the original movie in the best of ways while filling in a few holes, including some new songs, and giving a bit more depth to the characters. Everyone is pitch perfect in their roles.

Aside from Emma Watson and Dan Stevens playing our title characters, I was also looking forward to seeing the performances of Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, and Ewan McGregor as Lumière and all three did their characters justice. I had no idea that Evans could even sing, but he's very good at playing the full of himself Gaston. With all of the talk about LeFou's sexuality, of course, I was curious about Gad's take on the character - it's pretty subtle and tonally he feels a lot like the original cartoon version of his character. Lumière has always been one of my favorite supporting Disney characters, and McGregor does a wonderful job bringing the character to life and "Be Our Guest" is the real showstopper of the movie.

Overall, if you haven't seen this live action reimagining of one of Disney's best cartoons, what are you waiting for? Luckily, it lives up to hype (and, as enjoyable as the live action Cinderella was, this is better by far) and is a joy to see on the big screen. The 3D looks great especially for the curse and transformations, but I wouldn't say it's absolutely necessary to make the most of your viewing experience. Emma Watson's the perfect choice to play this bookish heroine!


Theater notes:

Since the last time I was at this movie theater to see The Secret Life of Pets, it's been completely remodeled. Now, there's even the option to select which comfortable leather seat you want to sit in and everything. Plus, everything is much more roomy and everywhere was a good seat. 

Trailers included Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Coco. I'm really looking forward to both of these, especially Coco. If you haven't seen the trailer for Coco, you need to see it.

There was also a trailer for the next Wimpy Kid movie. I liked the original movies, and I have to admit that I'm disappointed that everyone has been recast.

I don't know about you, but I've watched a ton of "Tale as Old as Time" covers. The one that I've shared above is easily my favorite - it features a fellow local Ohioan, Lance Horsley, and his eleven year old daughter performing a duet of the song at her school library and it's features clips of her singing "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes from Cinderella when she was younger.  Aren't these two really talented?  You can check out his YouTube channel here - be sure to listen to his covers of "Lego House", "Something Just Like This", "How to Save a Life", and "Mercy" which are also great. 
Have you done anything interesting this weekend?  Have you seen Beauty and the Beast yet - if so, did you love it as much as I did?  Have you found any new-to-you reads?  Thanks as always for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab + 50/50 Friday


Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.


I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.


This week I'm spotlighting one of my most anticipated reads of the year, A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab!  I'm so excited to be starting in on this series finale, but I really don't want it all to be over.  Anyway, without further ado:


Beginning:

Delilah Bard - always a thief, recently a magician, and one day, hopefully, a pirate - was running as fast as she could.

56:

The driver didn't fight the magic, or if he did, it was a battle quickly lost.



This week I'm also taking part in a brand new linkup called 50/50 Friday, which is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they'll have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - this week the topic is a Novel Worth/ Not Worth the Hype.

Worth: 


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Both it and it's sequel - I'm dying for the third book in the series to come out already!


Not Worth:


Passenger by Alexandra Bracken - It kills me a little bit to say this since this was one of my most highly anticipated releases of 2016, but it just live up to my expectations.


What are you reading this week?  Have you tried any of the books I've mentioned above?  If so, what did you think of them?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Shortest YA Books I've Read


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Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!  This week's topic is Read In One Sitting Theme like ten of the shortest books I've read, top ten books I read in one sitting, ten books to read when you are short on time, top ten books that will make you read the whole day away, etc.  I've decided to share the shortest YA books I've read not counting short stories, audiobooks, or graphic novels.  Here we go, in order of length:


Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy, 96 pages - This is an absolutely fascinating nonfiction piece discusses women's rights and freedoms by way of the history of the bicycle.


Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman, 112 pages - I loved this in middle school so much!


Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming, 118 pages - I've always been fascinated by Amelia Earhart and this work of nonfiction's no exception.


Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, 139 pages - You can never go wrong with this classic!


Haunting Joy by Lena Goldfinch, 156 pages - Eerie ghost story with a bit of romance for fans of the tv series, Ghost Whisperer.


Coraline by Neil Gaiman, 162 - Neil Gaiman is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my favorites of his works.


Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen, 163 pages - The Sammy Keyes YA mystery series will always be a favorite of mine.  If you've never tried them before you should look into it.


Redemption by Elora Mitchell, 171 pages - You might have seen me mention this excellent YA dystopian in the past - it's well worth your time!


Unholy Alliance by Haley Yager and Lacy Yager, 174 pages - I read this paranormal romance for review and it's pretty great.  If you like urban fantasy and vampires, you may want to give it a shot.


Some Writer!: The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet, 176 pages - If you're in anyway interested in the life story of E.B. White, the author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, this tribute is a must read.


Have you read any of these books?  What are some of the shortest books that you've read?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Music Monday: Harry James and His Orchestra


Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.

Rules:

Every Monday share one or two songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.


This week I'm spotlighting a couple of my favorite Harry James and His Orchestra songs.  I know I've mentioned this bandleader and topnotch trumpet player on my blog before, but that was from 1939 when Frank Sinatra sang with him before moving on to work with Tommy Dorsey.  I just happened to stumble upon a 78 rpm record at a local Goodwill store that features "Flatbush Flanagan" an instrumental number on one side and "I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)" on the other which features vocals by Dick Haymes (who replaced Frank Sinatra and who also later worked with Tommy Dorsey as well).  Harry James originally released both of these songs in 1941, but they also gained more popularity later in the '40s as well after being rereleased.  Harry James is one of my favorites and I have several of his albums on vinyl (these two are the only ones that are on a 78) that I've picked up at antique shops or thrift stores.  I always find myself going back and listening to these two songs the most, though.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag


I saw the perfect tag by Amber @ Du Livre!  As you can probably imagine, I'm dying to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.  As I won't be able to see it until Tuesday, I'm tiding myself over with this tag that Amber created in the meantime.  Tuesday can't come soon enough!


A Villain You Can't Help But Love!


Victor Vale from Vicious by V.E. Schwab - Strictly speaking, Victor isn't quite a villain but he isn't the hero of the story either.  He occupies a very intriguing gray area, and he's probably the most memorable "villainous" character I've met in quite a while.


Your OTP


Ronan Lynch and Adam Parrish from The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater - You've probably heard me mention this before!  This is also one of my favorite  pieces of fan art featuring the two characters.


A Character That's Destined For Bigger Things


Matilda Wormwood from Matilda by Roald Dahl - She's destined for much more than the Wormwood's have to offer.  I'd love to check back in with her as a high school or college student.


A Book That Makes You Hungry


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - I'm getting hungry just typing this!


Opposites Attract


Bianca Piper and Wesley Rush from The DUFF by Kody Kepplinger - These two definitely fit this category since they start from off as enemies.


Thanks for making such a cool book tag, Amber!  I'm not going to tag anyone specifically, but if you'd like to do it please feel free!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber + 50/50 Friday


Welcome to The Friday 56, a weekly meme hosted by Freda's Voice.

These are the rules:
1. Grab a book, any book.
2. Turn to page 56, or 56% on your eReader.
3. Find any sentence (or a few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you.
4. Post it.
5. Add the URL to your post in the link on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post.


I'm also taking part in Book Beginnings, a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  The rules are pretty simple - you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires.  Don't forget to link up your post's url with Rose City Reader.


This week I'm spotlighting a book I've just started and I'm already loving, Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber.  As soon as I heard that this novel was being compared to one of my all time favorites, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, I knew I had to try this novel.  Let's just say that I'm very happy to have finally joined the party!

Beginning: 

It took seven years to get the letter right.

56:

Up close the sand looked fluffier.  Fluffier, and now that thought about it, much more like snow.  More than she'd ever seen on Trisda.  Resting clouds of magical white, a cold carpet stretched across the entire shore.


This week I'm also taking part in a brand new linkup called 50/50 Friday, which is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books.  Every week they'll have a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - this week the topic is Best/ Worst Debut Novel.

Best:


The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig - Easily a favorite debut from 2016!  If you haven't read this yet, what have you been doing?!

Worst:


The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander - This was definitely one of my more disappointing 2016 debuts.  It's one of those where the concept and premise is much better than the overall execution.